My first layout design

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by railBuilderdhd, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Here is a copy of my first attempt at my layout. I’m working in HO scale and in the modern era.
    I would like to get feedback from other on what is good or bad based on what I’ve done so far. I’ve worked with xTrkCad and have attached the file for you to view the work done thus far. The curve in red is not very far off from the 18” radius set as standard HO turn so I’m not to worried about it, should I be? It’s currently a radius of 17. Above the tunnel I will have an industry that I’ve not decided on at this point. I hope to have the layout extend to left larger and will have the yard go out to left and remove the turns to left of layout to extend into a city or dock. From behind the Walther structure 933-3016 (rail builders building) there will be a mountain that will be carved out for the yard to extend to the right. I figure this will give me a chance to do some modeling of rock carving. I was thinking of having a industrial loading area in the middle of the layout where trucks can load container and maybe turn this yard into a container yard with areas for truck loading. Maybe to much for this phase. I would like to maybe have part of a city block backed to the yard and have building that would be loading from cars in the yard. Of course I will need to change the yard to have mode sidings for the industries located on the street.

    I’m looking for any good ideas and please let me know what I’ve done wrong so far. I know I didn’t think much about the wires or how anything like that would need to be done.


    Attached Files:

  2. thx_1138a

    thx_1138a New Member


    Modern era equipment (hi-cubes, stack trains, TOFC, six axle power) might operate on a 17" curve but it's not gonna look good and will most likely be something you'll regret.
  3. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    18" is a minimum that most adhere to...
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Maybe i am not seeing this right, but your yard tracks aren't very accessible. To get cars in, you would have to bring them in one at a time, as the tail end of the yard only has enough space for a small loco an one car. And the yard tracks that meet the upper yard track from the upper right are completely inaccessible, because in order to get there, you would have to back a car in all the way to the end, then pull forward, then back up again. The last one is impossible to get to, the others are just extremely inconvenient.

    It's really difficult to encorporate much of a useable yard on a 4x8. I'd recommend browsing the internet for tack plans. If you can get a good looking container yard in this small of a space, I would be very interested in seeing what you come up with.

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You mention modern era, but you don't elaborate. You could run gp35s, gp40-2s, gp50s, and gp60s on 18 inch radius without problems. If you are talking about modern 6 axle power like the latest big power from GE and EMD, the equipment probably won't handle 18 inch radius and if it does manage to get around 18 inch radius, it will probably derail any cars it tries to move around that radius. 18 inch radius is not really the standard radius for ho, it is the radius that toy train sets come equipped with. Look closely at train sets, I've never seen a set with big modern power. The standard train set loco is a gp or an f unit, always relatively small 4 axle units never the big long six axle units we think of when people talk of modern era power.
  6. UPDATE: With all the feedback I’ve gotten and the fact I’m not happy with the way this layout looks (mostly because it’s not good) I’ve started over. Since I’m moving one day soon (within a year) I’m thinking I need to keep looking at the long term layout and not a small layout for now because I will be moving soon so I need to be sure what I create now will work in the future layout. I will be able to keep myself busy with the research of era and what I want to include in the layout. I may build some dioramas to practice techniques to ensure when I build the layout I have experience.
  7. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    Don't get discouraged. Designing layouts is very rewarding in itself. Take the time to learn xtrkcad (its free too) to design in, you wont regret it. You can even run trains on your virtual design!

    That plug over, I would build "something" while I had the the gumption! Maybe try a little 18" by 48" shelf yard layout..
    check out this site for some ideas..

    Layout Plans @ Fotopic.Net

    With something like that you can run switching operations, practice doing scenery etc. Best of all, it becomes the start of you new around the room layout after you move!
  8. I'm not discouraged at all. In fact I'm enjoying the time I spend researching what to do with my railroad. I'm enjoying the time I spend looking, reading and learning so I'm far from discouraged.
  9. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    A 2'x4' shelf layout or module is quite easy to move. If you keep the buldings removable, it will even pack quite nicely :) If you design it correctly, you can encorporate the module into a larger layout when you get the space. There was an interesting Port of Los Angeles module built in MR back in the early 1990s that you may enjoy. Basically cranes loading containers onto ships. It was quite well done for it's small size.


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